Ellie Jacobs, 19, gave birth to Archie Jacobs when she was 16 years old while residing at a caravan site near Buckingham in April 2020. Tragically, Archie passed away approximately five weeks later after crushed paracetamol pills were added to his bottle.
Initially, Jacobs denied charges of murder and child cruelty during her trial at Luton Crown Court earlier this month. However, she later pleaded guilty to manslaughter and admitted to child cruelty. Consequently, she has been sentenced to five years in prison for manslaughter and 18 months for child cruelty, with both sentences running concurrently.
Bedfordshire Police Detective Chief Inspector Will Crowther expressed that while this was a very sad case, he was pleased that Jacobs acknowledged her responsibility for causing Archie’s death.
Archie was born on April 28, 2020, and tragically succumbed to a paracetamol overdose on June 5 of the same year, at just five weeks old. The court was informed that crushed adult paracetamol tablets had been added to his bottle, either on the evening of June 4 or the early hours of June 5. The prosecution stated that Jacobs admitted to adding only a pinch of paracetamol.
Upon examination of Archie’s body, it was discovered that he had suffered fractures, including one to his right tibia and four to the big toe of his right foot. These fractures had occurred three to seven days prior to his death, The Sun told.
At the time of Archie’s birth, Jacobs’ partner, known as Jay, had moved out, and the baby had been placed on a Child Protection Plan. Jacobs’ mother and stepfather resided on the caravan site and had provided support, but tragically, her mother was killed in a road crash on May 10, 2020.
Jacobs declined offers from family friends and relatives to live with them following her mother’s death. She also rejected assistance from Social Services to reside at a mother and baby unit, choosing to remain at the caravan with Archie. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 lockdown, Jacobs maintained regular contact with a social worker, nurse, and midwife through video calls.
Daily Mail said social workers conducted weekly visits, despite the pandemic. The caravan was described as clean but cluttered with numerous animals, giving it a “busy” appearance, although there were no signs of an unpleasant odor.
A diary found in the caravan revealed Jacobs’ emotional struggles just two weeks prior to Archie’s death. She expressed a sense of loss, longing for her mother’s presence, and feeling disconnected from her surroundings. Jacobs also expressed negative emotions towards Archie, admitting to feeling nothing when he cried and hoping for extended breaks when her neighbor, Kelly, cared for him. She mentioned her struggles without her mother and the emotional and physical hurt caused by Jay, associating Archie with those painful experiences.
Following Archie’s death, investigators examined a baby’s bottle, which contained evidence suggesting that six crushed tablets had been added to it. When questioned, Jacobs initially claimed to have added only a “pinch” of paracetamol to the bottle.
Detective Chief Inspector Will Crowther, from the Major Crime Unit, expressed the sadness surrounding the case, as a five-week-old boy lost his life. He hoped that Jacobs’ guilty plea would aid Archie’s family in moving forward after this tragic ordeal.